Oxford city council rejected the appeal by Firoka, Kassam Stadium owners. The company demanded for the stadium to be denied its ‘community asset’ status, which gives fans more control over its future. BBC reports.
As we wrote back in May, Oxford United supporters from OxVox fan trust were the first ones to be granted the ‘community asset’ status for their club’s stadium. United were in a potentially unstable situation with their stadium being owned by a different entity than the club itself, hypothetically allowing the football side to be left homeless, should Firoka sell the ground.
The ‘community asset’ status means that should the company owned by Firoz Kassam want to sell the stadium, it has to give supporters half a year to form a counter-bid and buy it, beating the other offer.
Firoka launched an appeal with the city council, but it was just now rejected, keeping the new status in force. Unless Kassam’s firm seeks justice in front of an independent tribunal, supporters won again.
Worth noticing, the success of Oxford United’s OxVox inspired fans across England to apply for the same status and feel more secure about their stadiums. Biggest club to see its stadium named a community asset is Manchester United. Initially the club expressed displeasure and was to appeal against it, but the plans were later withdrawn, accepting the fans’ right to act that way.